Blog Archives

The A-Z Book Tag

I saw this tag over on Mud and Stars Book Blog and thought it looked fun. It is going to be a minute before I finish my next book for a review so I thought this would be fun to do in-between.

Author You’ve Read the Most Books From:

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I have a few authors I follow but I would have to say that J.K. Rowling is the one I have read the most books from. I have literally read all that she has written including all the original things put out on Pottermore. There is a slight obsession there.

Best Sequel Ever:

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I would have to say Conjuring of Light, which is the last book in the Darker Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab. I loved how well it wrapped up the story. It left me wanting a bit more and I am super excited for her new story in that universe!

Currently Reading:

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As of this typing I am actually between books but I plan on starting The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It is the last book in “The Cemetery of Forgotten Books” series. Though I plan on starting that and then putting it aside to move to the illustrated version of the the third Harry Potter book this weekend.

Drink of Choice while Reading:

I don’t have anything that I specifically drink. I am usually reading at home and I almost always drink milk while at home. So milk would probably be the most common thing I drink while reading.

E-reader or Physical Book?

I am a physical book person all the way. I have nothing against e-readers, if it allows someone to read better I am all for it. I just can’t focus on a screen for a long period of time. I also need the feeling of a book in my hands and the ability to pull it off my shelf.

Fictional character you probably would have Dated while in High School?

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This one is tough because I don’t usually think about myself dating anyone in the books that I read. I usually pair them up with other characters and not myself. In high school I probably would have dated someone like Simon from Mortal Instruments, sweet yet dorky.

Glad You Gave this Book a Chance:

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The one that comes to mind is one I recently finished, The Angle’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I was intrigued by the initial concept and ended up becoming engrossed in it. It has a mysterious air that was interesting. Thought I read the first book in the series and I am not sure what I think about it compared to The Angel’s Game.

Hidden Gem Book:

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We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson. I picked up this book because of the alien plot but it turned out to be so much more. It is one my favorite books of all time. It is deep and emotional and sweet and a fantastic story. It does not get the attention it deserves

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

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This is easy, the moment I picked up the first Harry Potter book. I always enjoyed reading but I don’t know if my love would have become as deep without those books. I also don’t know if I would have become as passionate about writing without those books.

Just Finished:

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The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It an intriguing mystery but I wasn’t as thrilled about it as I wanted to be. I was expecting more from it and it confused the timeline for the series.

Kind of Books you Won’t Read:

I won’t say there is anything that I absolutely will not read but there a few genres I am not thrilled with. I don’t generally read nonfiction biographies unless I am super interested in the person. I also tend to have an issue with romance novels unless it has a supernatural twist to it. I like the more fantastic genres because they tend to give me something I can’t find in the real world.

Longest Book You’ve Read:

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I think that would probably be Gone with the Wind when I was in junior high. I remember it being about 1000 pages. It was super long and I was not thrilled with it but was determined to finish it. I also remember that the liberian got on my case because it took me so long to read. It wasn’t like it was on a waiting list so I don’t know what her issue was.

Major Book Hangover Because of:

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Most recently my book hangover came from They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera. I knew where the book was going and how it would play out but I was so hoping it would be different. I was just emotionally drained at the end.

Number of Bookcases you Own:

In my apartment I currently have 4 that are completely full. I need another one but I am running out of room for more shelves.

One Book You have Read Multiple Times

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Harry Potter is my obvious choice but the other would be the Everworld Series by Katherine Applegate. I read these all the time as a teenager. I loved the characters and the story was original and fun. I am a bit worried about reading them now though, hoping they don’t lose their magic as I age.

Preferred Place to Read:

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There is nothing better than reading in bed with my cat curled up on my lap fast asleep.

Quotes that Inspires You/Gives You all the Feels from a Book You’ve Read:

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I have a number from Harry Potter but my favorite has to be from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. “It is our choices Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

Reading Regret:

I am not sure I have that many reading regrets. I would have to say I regret ever feeling ashamed of loving to read. In school I did get teased about it often and sometimes it got to me but in the end it never dampened my love for books. In reality it probably made me love reading more.

Series You Started and Need to Finish:

I rarely don’t finish a series. I am very intent on making sure that I read a series right through. I am technically in the middle of the Cemetery of Forgotten books series by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I paused it in order to read the illustrated version of the third Harry Potter book, but will go back to it soon.

Three of Your All Time Favorite Books:

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson. I could read all of those books multiple times.

Unapologetic Fangirl for:

Harry Potter is obvious but I also adore Malec from the Shadowhunter series. Magnus and Alec are just adorable to me. I have also become a serious fangirl for anything V.E. Schwab and Adam Silvera write.

Very Excited for This Release More than All Others:

Hmmm, I am trying to think of what is coming out soon. I think either Shaun David Hutchinson’s new book The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza or the Malec series that Cassandra Clare is supposed to be writing.

Worst Bookish Habit:

I tend to lose bookmarks and thus always dog-ear a book. I know that some readers detest people who dog-ear but it doesn’t actually bug me. I just wish I didn’t lose a bookmark between books. I always use it for one book then lose it before starting the next one.

X Marks the Spot: Start at the Top Left of Your Shelf and Pick the 27th Book:

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I am too lazy to get up and go through any of my four bookshelves so I put my Goodreads shelf on random and counted the 27th on that list, Depths of Time by Roger MacBride Allen. I haven’t read it in a while but I do remember it being a good time-travel book.

Your Latest Book Purchase:

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Just recently I went book shopping with my mom for an earlier birthday. I bought a number of books but the one I was most excited for, beside the illustrated version of the third Harry Potter book, was Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. I have heard great things about this one so I am eager to start it soon.

ZZZ-Snater Book (The Last Book that Kept You Up WAY Late):

I think that was finishing The Angle’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I had to figure out how it ended, though I wasn’t sure how to understand the ending. I am still not sure how it works in the whole series yet either.

I am not going to tag anyone, just if you are bored this was fun to do. What are your opinions on some of the books I mentioned?

 

 

They Both Die at the End – Adam Silvera – Review

1487621303004What would you do if you knew today was your last day to live? You will die before the day is over, there is no way around your fate. Would you live the life you always wanted to live? Would you open yourself up to a complete stranger? They Both Die at the End explores this idea through a bittersweet tale that will make you smile and cry at the same time.

Mateo and Rufus have both received their Death-Cast call. They will die within the next 24 hours. Mateo becomes trapped by fear in his apartment, afraid to take a step outside and truly live for his last day. While Rufus, a foster child, has lost himself in grief and survivors guilt after surviving the car crash that killed his family. He has no idea who he is anymore but he is determined to live his last day as the person he always wanted to be and not as the one other’s have started to see him as.

They both turn to the Last Friend App to find someone to live their last hours with. Together they extract their real selves from one another. Mateo puts fear aside and truly lives. Rufus lets go of his guilt and shows his true soft and loving side that got lost in the tragedy. They find not only friendship but love and a connection with one another on their last day.

What I loved:

Adam Silvera is the king of emotion. He knows how to invoke that tightness in the chest and that sting of tears in the eye. He knows how to create heartache from sadness and a bittersweet pull as well. He is among a handful of authors who make me fall into my emotions. It is rare I feel so connected to a set of characters. I desperately wanted this to end differently.

Mateo and Rufus were so well written. It is difficult to create round and dynamic characters with only one day of time to work with. Both of these characters start off one way and do a complete turn around by the end. In less than 24 hours Silvera manages to bring both of these boys out of hiding and put them into the lives they were always meant to live.

Mateo is lost and scared. He is a little obsessive. He is scared to experience life. He has no support system life, his mother having died giving birth to him and his dad in a coma.He would have stayed inside, letting his last day slip away.

Instead he uses the Last Friend App to find someone to spend the day with. He wanted to truly live but he doesn’t know that in this last day he will end up living the life he always dreamed of living.

Watching Mateo open up and be purely happy was sweet and heart wrenching at the same time. I felt a rock on my heart knowing he couldn’t get to truly live with this new side of himself. I imagined him making it though the day and becoming this full and whole person.

I felt connected to Mateo. I have always had a fear of taking risks and experiencing the world. His fear hit close to home for me. I have recently walked outside my fears and the feeling is freeing and exhilarating. I wanted Mateo to feel that full experience and see how awesome life can be.

Rufus is lost in his grief. He survived a crash that killed his family. He doesn’t know what to do with himself. He lashes out and hurts other without meaning to. He is lost and scared, much like Mateo.

Watching him push off that guilt and live with Mateo was exhilarating. He showed Mateo that he was a kind soul. He was able to show that he was someone to be loved. His transformation was satisfying. I wanted him to be able to show the world who he truly was. Knowing he wouldn’t leave that impression with everyone was hard to read.

I also really enjoyed the short snippets from other lives that we saw in the story. Each one had some small connection to Rufus and Mateo. Not all the connections ended well but it was this glimpse at how connected everyone in life is. No one exists in a vacuum. We touch lives in some way everyday.

I thought this was a nice touch to alleviate some of the pain and sorrow that clouded the story. The idea that we got to take a step away from the story for a moment and recollect and see that life went on for the people was a good way to ease some of the heavier emotions in this story.

What I was just okay with:

The only thing I was sort of only okay was the concept of Death-Cast itself.  There is no explanation of how it works, which bugged me for the beginning of the story. I found myself asking questions about it but once I got into the story I realized it didn’t matter how it worked. Death-Cast wasn’t the main element of the story, it was the vehicle by which these boys were able to change. The story was about two boys connecting and living while discovering love and was not about the technology itself.

What I wished was different:

I honestly wouldn’t change anything in this tory. I read it in 3 days. There was nothing that help me back or anything that I couldn’t manage to get past. Even the insta-love aspect didn’t hold me back because of the finite time line that we were working inside of.

 

I gave this 5 stars on Goodreads. If you want a story about living life to its fullest, young love and finding your true self you will love They Both Die at the End.

 

Quotes:

“It’s just the fear of disappointing others or making a fool of myself always wins.” (pg.109)

“I may not be able to cure cancer or end world hunger, but small kindnesses go a long way.” (pg. 126)

“Entire lives aren’t lessons, but there are lessons in lives.” ( pg. 334)

History is All You Left Me – Adam Silvera – Review

1484327318034This book does not play fair. This was my mantra for most of the time I was reading History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera. It was one of those books that messes with your emotions in a way that makes your head spin. One minute I was laughing, then a sentence later it was like someone had let the air out of my balloon and I sank to the ground, head in my hands. I had no idea what I was getting into when I picked this book up.

Griffen is a young man dealing with something many hope to never have to deal with; the death of someone he cared about. His first love, Theo, passes way suddenly and Griffen is left to pick up the pieces of his life and heart.

Unfortunately for Griffen the only person who really knows what he is feeling is Jackson, the boy that Theo was dating before he died. Together they aid each other in dealing with their grief. But Griffen learns he has to find away to put Theo in his past, to live with their history but to not let that history rule him.

I read Adam Silvera’s other novel More Happy Than Not and that book nearly destroyed me. (Full review here). So I knew that Silvera knew how to ignite intense emotions in a reader. I knew he was a writer that could make you severely ache for the characters. I thought I was prepared for the rollercoaster that this book was going to be. I was wrong.

More Happy Than Not was a book that had a constant dark cloud hovering over it. It was rarely one where you smiled. Things started off dim and sad and you only continued to dig into that hole over the course of the story.

This book started off sad but didn’t stay that way. The way it is told is it switches between Theo and Griffen’s past, from the beginning of their relationship until their break up and Theo’s death and the present where Griffen is dealing with Theo’s death and his grief.

One minute you are reading about a cute date they had, laughing at their jokes about the “zombie-pirate apocalypse” and then something is mentioned about the future and it is like a wave has hit you. As a reader you know that, that future does not exist. You know those plans will never be fulfilled, all those promise are broken. You go from laughing to feeling hurt and sad. You keep going up and down almost afraid to turn the next page.

In Silvera’s last book it was the ending that spun the whole story into a different direction. That book smacked you over the head with a brick. This one didn’t hit that hard but it still changed the feel of the story. I am not sure if this is going to be a thing of Silvera’s but I like that there is a pull at the end that deepens the story.

Griffen has to learn to move on with his life. He learns that Theo will always be a part of his past. Their history will always mean something but it can’t consume him. History has to be just that history. You can reference it, learn from it and revel in it when you need that nostalgiaia but you can’t live in it. If you do you risk losing yourself.

Griffen finds a way to add this to who he is as a person and move into his future. It is a future without Theo but is one that he learns to live in. History is all they have now but Griffen learns that, that is okay.

Favorite Books of 2016!!

According to my Goodreads reading challenge I read 36 books this year! I know that there was at least one book that I did not finish though and I did reread the first and second Harry Potter books because I got the illustrated versions. Most of the books I read this year I really loved. I wrote review for many of them which I will include links to when possible.

I love when I spend the year reading books that I adore. I found some new authors that I will be following and reading their new material. I started some new series which I am excited to finish!

Take a look back with me on some of my favorite books of the year!

 

We will start with V.E. Schwab, who has become my new favorite author. I read the first two books in her Shades of Magic series. I wrote a review for A Darker Shade of Magic. The third and final book should be coming out in February and I am excited to see how the series ends!

I then read This Savage Song ,which i received in a book subscription box. I was thrilled to see it in the box because I had been wanting it for so long. It was a great story about the difference between good and evil and what makes someone a “monster.” My review on it has more of my thoughts. The second one comes out in June and I can’t wait!

I recently finished Vicious. It was probably my least favorite  of the four but I still really enjoyed it. I love the way she looks at what it means to be good and bad and if there is a true distinction between the two concepts.

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I read the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer really quick. It was a great ride. I loved the fresh ways of viewing the fairytale characters. I hope to be able to read Heartless sometime this new year. I wrote a review for Cinder which you can find here.

I also fell in love with the Six of Crows series. This was another one that I got lost in. I loved the characters, they were all unique and felt alive. The story was fast-paced and full of adventure. I wrote a review for the series as a whole which you can find here.

 

To round out the series I read is Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. This was another fun one. I liked the take on time loops, the characters were all fun and interesting and the story kept me turning pages for three books without an issue. I did a review for each of the books which you can find here, here and here.

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Now for some individual books. I read More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera after seeing a review for it. It was one of those books that left me in shock and emotional at the end. It so well written and heart breaking. Few things get me choked up but this one was of them.

51yr8-30fdl-_sy344_bo1204203200_We are the ants by Shaun David Huchtinson was just a book I found in passing. It so much more than I thought it was going to be. I fell in love with it quickly. It a good look at why you would want to keep the world around even when it is breaking your heart. I will be adding a review for this one soon.

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I technically think I started this one before 2016 but I finished it in 2016 so it counts. This one falls outside my usual genre. If you can’t tell fantasy is the genre I usually read in. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill was a horror book and I was enthralled by it. It was scary yet interesting at the same time. I don’t usually enjoy horror but I did really enjoy this one. You can find my review here.

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I know this one probably isn’t landing on many favorites’ lists this year. There are issues with it, and I go into my depth about them in my review here. But I loved this despite the issues. I loved being transported back to the Harry Potter universe and I loved the addition of Scorpious. This was a fun ride and one I did love reading.

 

So those are just some of my favorites from this year. What did you read in 2016? Did you enjoy the majority? What are some of your favorites?

 

More Happy Than Not By Adam Silvera – Review (Minor Spoilers)

9781616956776More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera was another book I saw a review for on Youtube. The premise intrigued me, someone having the ability to erase memories as a way to deal with a tough situation.  The reviewer also mentioned it was an emotional read, and I was curious to see if that was true. It was true, this book was heartbreaking. I am not a person who gets emotional easily. It takes a lot in a book or movie to make me feel heartbroken, but this book managed just that.

Aaron is a sixteen-year-old whose life is not the greatest. His family is poor. At the beginning, you find out that his father has recently committed suicide. Aaron himself has also has had a suicide attempt.

There is one light in his life though, his girlfriend, Genevieve. They have a very cute relationship. They tease one another and have little rituals. She is what Aaron needs in order to be able to handle what is going on with his life at the moment. She makes him happy and he does love her.

For three weeks in the summer, Genevieve goes to an art camp, leaving Aaron by himself. While she is away Aaron meets a new friend, Thomas. They become close very quickly. Their growing closeness makes Aaron question his sexuality. He realizes that he is falling for Thomas. This creates a cascade of events that has a bigger twist that I won’t reveal here.

The events lead Aaron to consider a new technology at the Leteo Institute that can erase memories. Aaron has to decide whether he should get the procedure, whether it will help him at all. Does erasing your memories really change your life, or does it just cover up an issue you don’t want or know how  to deal with?

The main of the idea this book revolves around the idea of what makes someone gay or straight. Does it have to do with memories? Is it a nature or nurture idea? Can you make someone straight by erasing their past actions and memories?

Now, I believe that being gay, straight or bi is not a choice. It is the way you are born. It is a part of you just like any other aspect of yourself. It is not something that can be changed. It can be ignored and covered up. But like when you dye your hair the roots always show through sooner or later. You can pretend as long as you want, convince yourself that you aren’t but at the end of the day it is a part of you.

This story took an interesting look at that idea. It presents you with a young man who is  trying to navigate his world. He is lost. He has no one to go to talk about what he is feeling. There is no one with experience around him. He tries to navigate his new world but it becomes too overwhelming. He ultimately has to make a choice between erasing his memories and becoming “straight,” or not going through with the procedure and trying to find a way to make people understand who he is. As a teenager, this is a very overwhelming and confusing situation. He has support around him but not much knowledge.

I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading it, praying and hoping things were going to work out for him. I desperately wanted Aaron to end up happy and feel content with who he was. I wanted him to have a revelation about being gay and how it is not something to be ashamed of scared of. But this was no Happy Ever After book. As I stated before this whole thing broke my heart.

I just wanted to be the support system that Aaron needed. I wanted him to be able to get away from the negativity in his life, to find somewhere where he was accepted but that would have made the book too neat. Everything working out perfectly, all his friends accepting him and understanding would have been too easy. This was much more like real life. I think that if everything had worked out with a smile, I would have felt cheated and annoyed. This isn’t a situation that is fixed with a few words and a handshake or hug. It takes time and it is a process and Silvera portrayed that well.

If you like science-fiction with heart you will enjoy this book. Don’t expect a light uplifting read, though. Expect a story that goes deep into your heart and will stay there leaving a lasting effect on you.

New Additions to My Bookshelf!

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I have been adding a number of books to my “want to read,” shelf on my Goodreads account over the last few months. Between recommendations from blogs and BookTubers I watch, the list has been growing quick. I decided it was time to go on a bit of a book splurge and buy a few of them. I really shouldn’t have because I do have a big trip coming up that I should have been saving my money for but I have zero self-control when it comes to books!!

9780765376473_custom-beb32b59122501248f3146f1e29b7cf8608e94b4-s400-c85 First up is A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab. I just finished the first book in this series  (A Darker Shade of Magic)and loved it. ( I will be putting up a review sometime soon.) When I like a series I need to continue reading it. I won’t read a book in-between if I can help it. So this is the one I am currently on and am excited to see what happens next with our characters.

9780373211579_p0_v3_s1200x630 One of my favorite paranormal authors is Gena Showalter. Firstlife is the first in a new young adult series she is writing. It is about a world where your first life is just practice, your real life begins after you die. You have to choose where you will go once you die and a young woman has to decide between two factions and worlds that want her. The concept of being able to choose your afterlife, and that being what is important was an interesting concept to me. I am interested to see what this story is like.

25801632 Another Gena Showalter that I bought. This is the next book in The Lords of the Underworld series. I have reviewed the previous book on my blog, (here). I love this series and am so excited to read Bane’s story. I am eager to see where the story goes. Though I was confused when I got this one just because all the other books have been in paperback; but this one is hardback. It won’t detract from the story, it will just look very odd with the other ones from the series on my shelf.

9781616956776 More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera is one I actually saw  a review for by a BookTuber I watch and it sounded really interesting. It is about a sixteen-year-old who is struggling in his life. His girlfriend is helping him but he is falling for his male best friend. He is struggling with what it means and is given a way to help himself. A memory-alternating procedure can help him but leaves him wondering who he truly is. I love the concept of the memory-altering idea and what it means for person and who they are. The reviewer said this one was emotional and gave a lot of “feels.” I am hoping for an emotional journey.

13262783 Everyday by David Levithan is one of those books I have been wanting to get for a long time. I really love the other books I have read by Levithan and this one sounded really interesting. It is about someone who wakes up in a new body and a new life each morning. This concept is fascinating to me. I really liked the show Quantum Leap and this sounded similar. I am interested in what this story will end up being about.

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